Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 1801–1806 | Cite as

Anti-inflammatory cytokine profile in early human tendon repair

  • P. W. AckermannEmail author
  • E. Domeij-Arverud
  • P. Leclerc
  • P. Amoudrouz
  • G. A. Nader
Experimental Study



The aim of this study was to assess inflammation and the presence and relative levels of cytokines, which may be involved in regulating early human Achilles tendon healing.


Nine patients with acute Achilles tendon rupture were included, operated on and post-operatively immobilized. Two weeks post-operatively, microdialysis of the peritendinous interstitial compartment was performed in the healing and intact contralateral Achilles tendons. Quantification of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70 and IL-17A was accomplished using a cytometric bead array. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay.


None of the patients displayed detectable PGE2 levels. Pro-inflammatory cytokines were below detection levels (IFNγ, IL-12, and IL-17) or did not differ between injured and control tendons (IL-1β and TNF). Notably, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 concentrations in the healing Achilles tendon were significantly elevated: 13-fold (p = 0.009), 28-fold (p = 0.02), and 3.7-fold (p = 0.03), respectively.


At 2 weeks post–human Achilles tendon rupture, healing is characterized by a resolving inflammatory phase and up-regulation of IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10. The absence of inflammation suggests that at this time point, these cytokines may be associated with anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects on the tendon healing process.


Achilles tendon Healing Microdialysis Cytokines Inflammation Interleukins 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Ackermann
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • E. Domeij-Arverud
    • 1
  • P. Leclerc
    • 2
  • P. Amoudrouz
    • 2
  • G. A. Nader
    • 2
  1. 1.Integrative Orthopedic Laboratory, Department of Molecular Medicine and SurgeryKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Center of Molecular Medicine (CMM)Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of OrthopedicKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden

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